This weekend’s song is a Swedish hymn that for many years has signaled the start of summer for school children and their parents. One I heard people say they wished we had gotten to hear sung, as we once again had a school term end without parents in attendance due to the pandemic.
Den blomstertid nu kommer (literally: Now the time of blossoming arrives) was first published in the 1695 Swedish Hymnal. And has been rewritten several times since. It is popular in both Sweden and Finland.
According to Wikipedia there is an English translation from 1978, but I fail to find the text online. Another text I should give time and thought to translating.
The first verse, where the Christian origin is not apparent, speaks of the time for flowers coming, the sweet summer approaching where grass and crops grow, the sun’s gentle and lively warmth reawakening the seemingly dead nature.
Den blomstertid nu kommer
Verse 1-3 of 6 1937 Lyrics
Den blomstertid nu kommer med lust och fägring stor. Du nalkas, ljuva sommar, då gräs och gröda gror. Med blid och livlig värma till allt som varit dött, sig solens strålar närma, och allt blir återfött.
De fagra blomsterängar och åkerns ädla säd, de rika örtesängar och lundens gröna träd, de skola oss påminna Guds godhets rikedom, att vi den nåd besinna som räcker året om.
Man hörer fåglar sjunga med mångahanda ljud, skall icke då vår tunga lovsäga Herren Gud? Min själ, upphöj Guds ära, stäm upp din glädjesång till den som vill oss nära och fröjda på en gång!
It’s one of those songs that has been recorded innumerable times. And frankly I like several of them for different reasons, so I decided to link to a bunch of them and you can decide for yourself.
Summertime and the livin’ is easy Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good lookin’ So hush, little baby, don’t you cry
One of these mornings You’re gonna rise up singin’ Yes, you’ll spread your wings And you’ll take to the sky Mm, but ’til that morning There is nothin’ can harm you Yes, with daddy and mommy standin’ by
Summertime and the livin’ is easy Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high Oh, your daddy’s rich (daddy’s rich) And your ma is good lookin’ (your ma is good lookin’) So hush, little baby, baby don’t you cry
Oh, don’t you cry, oh, don’t you cry (don’t) Oh, don’t you cry, oh, don’t you cry (cry)
Tonight’s Saturday song is Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It by Lana Del Ray.
A song someone sent to me because they thought about me listening to it. At the time I felt both flattered and quite caught out. Did I really seem so depressed and struggling? I guess at the time I thought I did a better job hiding it. Then I realized how backwards hiding how I truly felt was, especially from someone who could read between the lines. So instead I got ugly honest about the darkness and received both some relief and a new friend by it.
Since then I’ve become much better off not habitually always hiding how I am. It’s not always easy, and has the sad side effect of showing who your real friends are. But all in all I now believe it’s a better way to live than the opposite.
I can also say it made me listen to Lana Del Ray and her poetic lyrics.
It’s unusual that a contemporary song has so much written about it, but looking up the lyrics and song links I stumbled upon several articles about it. Here’s two, one from Atwood Magazine and one from Story of Song.
Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It by Lana Del Ray
I was reading Slim Aarons and I got to thinking that I thought Maybe I’d get less stressed if I was tested less like All of these debutantes Smiling for miles in pink dresses and high heels on white yachts But I’m not Baby, I’m not No, I’m not That, I’m not
I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown 24/7 Sylvia Plath Writing in blood on the walls ‘Cause the ink in my pen don’t work in my notepad Don’t ask if I’m happy, you know that I’m not But, at best, I can say I’m not sad ‘Cause hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have
I had fifteen-year dances Church basement romances, yeah, I’ve cried Spilling my guts with the Bowery Bums Is the only love I’ve ever known Except for the stage, which I also call home, when I’m not Servin’ up God in a burnt coffee pot for the triad Hello, it’s the most famous woman you know on the iPad Calling from beyond the grave, I just wanna say, “Hi, Dad”
I’ve been tearing up town in my fucking white gown Like a goddamn near sociopath Shaking my ass is the only thing that’s Got this black narcissist off my back She couldn’t care less, and I never cared more So there’s no more to say about that Except hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman with my past
There’s a new revolution, a loud evolution that I saw Born of confusion and quiet collusion of which mostly I’ve known A modern day woman with a weak constitution, ’cause I’ve got Monsters still under my bed that I could never fight off A gatekeeper carelessly dropping the keys on my nights off
I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown 24/7 Sylvia Plath Writing in blood on your walls ‘Cause the ink in my pen don’t look good in my pad They write that I’m happy, they know that I’m not But, at best, you can see I’m not sad But hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have
Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have But I have it Yeah, I have it Yeah, I have it I have
I’m still in so much pain from my shoulder that I can’t use the arm, sleep, think or write. So tonight I chose a song that I truly could write a lot about. But won’t. Let’s just say it resonates strongly with me normally and even more so right now.
The corous goes:
Pain! You made me a, you made me a Believer, believer Pain! You break me down and build me up Believer, believer Pain! Oh, let the bullets fly, oh, let them rain My life, my love, my drive, it came from… Pain! You made me a, you made me a Believer, believer
I have loved this song since I was little. And I got delighted when I found a webpage who details the history of this folk song. Or more correctly the song family, dating back 300 years, that it belongs to.
So I’ll end the week and say good night with this song.